West Nile Virus

Emil Ferris: 'I didn’t want to be a woman – being a monster was the best solution' | Books | The Guardian
My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is finally out, after the artist battled West Nile virus and the publisher battled copies being held hostage at the Panama Canal

There has never been a debut graphic novel quite like Emil Ferris’s My Favorite Thing Is Monsters. The 55-year-old artist’s first published work, which came out last week, is a sweeping 60s-era murder mystery set in the cartoonist’s native Chicago. It’s composed of ballpoint pen drawings on wide-ruled notebook paper and is the first half of the story with the second volume out in October. Before she began work on Monsters, Ferris paid the bills with freelance work as an illustrator and a toy designer, making figurines for McDonald’s – she sculpted the Mulan line of Happy Meal prizes for one of the fast food behemoth’s subcontractors – and for Tokyo toymaker Tomy, for whom she worked making the Tea Bunnies line of dolls.


This billboard kills hundreds of Zika virus mosquitoes in Brazil

Beyond the nuisance of an itchy mosquito bite, mosquitoes can also spread the West Nile virus, as well as the Zika virus. A Brazilian ad agency has come up with a genius way of combating these disease-carrying pests aptly called the “Mosquito Killer Billboard.” Here’s how it works.

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For this first time this season, NYC Health has detected West Nile Virus in New York City mosquitoes from areas in Queens and Staten Island. No human cases have been reported this season.

New Yorkers are urged to take precautions to prevent exposure to mosquito bites. Some helpful tips:

  • Use an approved insect repellent containing picaridin, DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus (not for children under three), or products that contain the active ingredient IR3535.
  • Make sure windows have screens and repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.
  • Eliminate any standing water from your property and dispose of containers that can collect water. Standing water is a violation of the New York City Health Code.
  • Make sure roof gutters are clean and draining properly.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs. Keep them empty or covered if not in use; drain water that collects in pool covers.
  • Report standing water by calling 311 or visiting here.

The Health Department will also apply larvicide by helicopter to marsh and other non-residential areas of Staten Island, the Bronx and Queens on select days July 17-21.

Visit our website to view the continuously updated West Nile Spray & Aerial Larviciding Schedule, track West Nile virus reports and results, and review NYC’s 2014 Comprehensive Mosquito Plan.


Hood-training with Littlefoot is going really well and I was finally able to pull the braces for the first time tonight. Since this is his first time being hooded with me, I was finally able to do a close examination. What I found is quite interesting.

First of all, this guy was INFESTED with feather lice and mites. I didn’t treat him when he first came in because he was so weak I was afraid of using any medication. But I treated him thoroughly tonight so hopefully that will help. A ton have already fallen off of him. The second, and most interesting discovery, was his tail. He only has 8 tail feathers! He is missing four on his left side. That explains why his tail always appeared to lean to his right. He also has a blood feather coming in, which I found surprising since he shouldn’t be growing new feathers right now. The new one is lined with fret marks and kinda twisted. 

So,chances are high that Littlefoot is a West Nile Virus survivor. Signs of WNV are pinched off blood feathers, twisted blood feathers, fret marks, extreme thirst, and loss of balance or seizures. Littlefoot was found too weak to move inside a horse trough, probably while seeking water. It’s a theory that the virus likely “does this” on purpose. It wants birds to seek out a water source, and then stay there, immobilized, so that mosquitoes (the main WNV vectors) can have unlimited access and further spread the disease.  It’s part of the life cycle of WNV. According to a wildlife rehabilitator that I spoke to today, nearly all of the coopers hawks (a species particularly susceptible to WNV) that came into the clinic this season had the same symptoms. Weakness, starvation, missing feathers, and twisted blood feathers. She says they all grow back, but it takes some time.

Hopefully Littlefoot’s feathers grow back in or he’ll be flying with a lopsided tail all season! He didn’t suffer any permanent neurological damage from the disease as far as I can tell, so good for him! He’s a survivor. And hopefully we can make a hunter of him yet :)

West Nile cases in US jump 25% over last week

The number of cases of West Nile virus reported in the U.S. rose 25% in the latest week. The number of deaths from the mosquito-borne disease jumped 32%, health officials say.

Reuters reports:

The 1,993 cases reported so far in 2012, up from 1,590 reported the week before, is the highest number of West Nile cases reported to federal health officials through the first week in September since the disease was first detected in the United States in 1999, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Photo: A Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito is shown on a human finger in this undated photograph from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This type of mosquito is associated with transmission of the West Nile virus. (Handout / Reuters)


I really like this video. I like it more than a lot of other recent videos. 

I’ve been noticing this weird trend in the videos I’ve been doing. There’s this common thread of uber-serious subject matter. Todd Akin, white supremacists, and other debbie downers are littering my hard drive here at work.

So to switch things up, I covered… death? I like covering heavy material in a way that doesn’t glorify its heaviness, because a lot of what I see on mainstream news isn’t really respect. It’s presented as respect, and as somberness, but in actuality it’s “Look at me, I’m taking this SERIOUSLY.” It’s fake. It’s self-glorification under a guise of legitimacy.

When I stood in front of a camera and talked about Aurora, I wasn’t doing it because to do otherwise would be in “poor taste.” My somberness was a result of how I felt about people being senselessly slaughtered. 

So I don’t believe in irreverent mockery. I just get a bad taste in my mouth when I see people being “real,” when in actuality they’re just glorifying themselves. Because at that point, it’s not about the tragedy, it’s about the heaviness of the tragedy, it’s about the person saying the words rather than the event. 

Now I’m gonna go into the woods, and I’m gonna kill a bear.

Planes begin 2nd round of spraying over Dallas County, Texas, to combat West Nile virus

A second round of spraying – the first since 1966 – began Friday night over Dallas. The spraying, reported the Morning News, will cover most of Dallas, with the exception of those areas doused on Thursday.

Laura McGowan, spokesperson for Clarke, maker of Duet, said the planes will still take off despite the appearance of overcast skies. Rain is not expected in most of the spray zone.

West Nile outbreak in U.S. surpasses 1,100 cases

(Photo: Handout / Reuters)

The United States is experiencing one of the biggest outbreaks of West Nile virus in history, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As of Tuesday, 1,118 cases of the mosquito-borne disease had been reported. That’s the highest number ever reported at this point in the year since the disease was first detected in the U.S. in 1999. If cases continue to grow at this pace, the West Nile outbreak could be the largest ever in the United States, said Dr. Lyle Petersen, director of the CDC’s Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases.

So far, 41 people have died from West Nile infections.

Read the complete story.

A transmission electron micrograph (TEM) reveals virions responsible for West Nile Virus.

West Nile Virus is a positive-sense, single-stranded RNA virus that is part of the Japanese encephalitis complex and is vectored through the mosquito. Only about 20% of infections cause illness.


Photo Credit: Cynthia Goldsmith, via the CDC